An extremely important and effective simplification of what is meant by orders planning can be obtained by referring to a brief example. So, let’s imagine we have in the system:
- Confirmed orders: that impact on the planned deliveries in the foreseeable future, for example in the next four weeks at the most; in this case, the customer undertakes to satisfy the product quantities orders with minimum flexibility
- Projected orders: that impact on the planned deliveries in the near future, to the order of two or three months; in this situation the quantities may vary, but not by much, making it possible to assess the need and make purchases
- Planned orders: that impact on the deliveries planned in the long term, i.e. between three and six months; the quantities are only indicative, useful for planning the needs of critical materials with very long lead times.
Information organised like this can be used:
- to plan the production volumes in advance, also to suit the line production capacities
- to make purchases of materials in time, particularly the ones with long lead times.
Basically, as the delivery period approaches, the "certainty" of the actual delivery date increases.
The degree of confirmation is used to define what and how many slots of uncertainty are managed by the company.
To achieve a greater flexibility we can insert an arbitrary number of “degree of confirmation”, each one recognisable through customised visual attributes. In the various contexts (Customer orders, Production orders etc…), the proof of “certainty” assists the operator during the decision-making phase.
The Customer Contract defines the composition and division of deliveries. The basic Contract data are in a grid where the number and length of periods to be managed in the company are indicated, as well as the type of detail desired on deliveries (monthly, weekly, daily).
The Programmed Customer Contract is linked to a specific customer and uses the degrees of confirmation previously defined; it has two important functions:
- to define a univocal reference that “keeps together” all the customer orders that form the Delivery Plan for a customer;
- define the actual structure of the Delivery Plan.
The Delivery Plan is the core of the module.
Open Orders - Delivery Schedule Management
Among its important features:
- a “global” vision of the activities underway as regards a particular customer, with graphic evidence of the reliability of the various quantities
- semiautomatic management of “progress” of the degrees of reliability of the quantities with the progress of the weeks
- transparently managing the Customer Orders corresponding to the Delivery Plan, automatically inserting, amending and deleting the lines contained in them.
The ordered quantities in the various periods defined by the contract are listed in tabular form. From the Customer Contract number that identifies the plan, the grid is populated with the data of the Customer Orders still to be processed.
It is possible to insert or change the quantities of the cells, as well as to insert, change and delete the product rows. At the end of insertion and change operations, a single click is needed to update the related customer orders.
Until now we have seen that the module can be exploited simply for facilitated planning and maintenance of sales. Actually, the management of open orders becomes particularly interesting if we think of it as coupled with the production planning.
The MRP processing adjusts to the presence in the management of Open Orders and to keep the proposals linked to needs with different degrees of confirmation separate. The needs are handled to all effects and purposes as if they referred to different products.
The information of the degree of confirmation is associated with the ancillary needs and with the documents generated (proposed Production orders and Purchase requests) so it can be visualised in the phases of analysis of progress of the stocks, confirmation of production orders proposed and confirmation of purchase requests.